Childhood obesity is an important health problem. Today, hundreds of thousands of children around the world have to struggle with obesity and diseases caused by obesity. Saying that one out of every 4 children suffers from weight problems, Nutrition and Diet Specialist Renan Güneş said, “Studies show that obese children of the 21st century will live shorter than their parents due to obesity-related diseases. One-third of obese children and two-thirds of obese adolescents remain obese in adulthood. “It is necessary to take measures from childhood in order to stop the increase in childhood obesity.”

If the parents are fat…

“If your parents are fat; 80% increases the probability of being obese in their children. The fact that one of the parents is obese reduces the child’s being obese to 50%. Acıbadem Ankara Hospital Nutrition and Diet Specialist Renan Güneş said: “The physical activity of children living in cities is more restricted. Children tend to obesity as a result of consumption of high-calorie foods and inactivity. It is accepted that there is a relationship between obesity and psychological factors. Negative relationships between parents and children can affect the mental structure of the child and cause excessive eating. “

Pandemic increased the risk of obesity

Saying that technological devices such as televisions, computers and tablets restrict the activities of today’s children, Renan Güneş said, “Accordingly, they reduce energy consumption. Especially in recent times, because of the pandemic, they have been restricted to go out on the streets and their movements have been reduced and the risk of obesity has increased, since the school environment is sitting and in front of the computer. Children’s consumption of foods rich in carbohydrates and fat increases the risk of obesity. Especially fast food diet lays the groundwork for the formation of obesity ”he said.

The number of meals is of great importance

Stating that thyroid diseases, hormonal causes, adrenal gland diseases and some chronic diseases can also cause obesity, Güneş said that the number of meals and the content of nutrients taken are extremely important in nutrition. The sun stated that obesity increases if the frequency of feeding decreases, eating a meal or two and the food contains high calories. He underlined that familial factors, environmental factors, nutrition and lack of physical activity are among the factors that generally increase the risk of obesity.

Obesity causes these problems

Dr. Renan Güneş listed the health problems caused by obesity in children as follows;

– Excessive increase in insulin hormone causes diabetes. If there is diabetes in the family, the likelihood of having diabetes increases even more.
Puberty may develop earlier than normal in obese children. Hormonal disorders such as menstrual irregularities and hair growth occur in obese girls due to the early development of puberty.
Early menstruation or no menstruation may occur due to early bone development in obese girls.
Due to the weight gain in obese children and adolescents, various orthopedic disorders may occur due to excessive load on the joints.
– Obesity reduces the ability of movement in children by impairing respiratory functions and increasing the load on the heart. Inactivity that occurs due to this decrease increases the risk of obesity by reducing energy consumption.
Obesity also causes the emergence of many psychological disorders. Obese children may become more introverted by being afraid of social relationships and psychological problems may arise.
– High blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, respiratory disorders, cardiovascular diseases, fatty liver, gall bladder diseases, orthopedic disorders, polycystic ovary syndrome and psychological disorders may occur in obese children.

Take action!

Renan Güneş stated that physical activity will prevent obesity by preventing the sedentary lives of children and young people and said, “Programs can be created to make healthy food choices by reducing their nutrition with unhealthy foods, sugary drinks and high-calorie foods. Beginning from early childhood, children can grow up with healthy eating, regular sleep and physical activity habits. “It can be ensured that healthy foods are preferred in schools for school-age children and adolescents.”

Family support is very important

Stating that obesity treatment in children is a long-lasting process that requires patience, Renan Güneş said, “The support of the family is very important in this regard. The family must be patient and guide the child correctly. The main goal should be to increase energy expenditure and reduce the amount of energy taken. While reducing energy intake, the growth and development of the child should also be taken into account. In order to regulate nutrition, the diet of the child should be prepared in a special way in accordance with the eating habits of the child and the family. While preparing the diet program, taking into account the growth and daily activity of the child, care should be taken to include the necessary nutrients ”.

Physical activity is essential

Noting that physical activity is extremely important for energy expenditure, Renan Güneş added: “Therefore, diet therapy must be supported with exercise. The exercise program should also be arranged according to the person. In order for the child to be successful in the treatment of obesity, he / she should make eating habits and physical activities a way of behavior and lifestyle. Physical activity not only increases energy consumption, but also prevents the development of cardiovascular diseases by increasing insulin sensitivity and the treatment of diabetes and good cholesterol. “

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